The Antichrist enters the Third Jewish Temple

The Seventh Trumpet

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give You thanks, O LORD God Almighty, Which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." (Revelation 11:15-19)

The seventh trumpet sounds and the final seven bowl judgments upon the earth and its inhabitants begin. It is at this point that Mid-Tribulationists believe that the Rapture will occur. This is the third "woe" of the three warnings that the angel gave earlier to the people dwelling on the earth.

The last verse of this passage is actually a forecast of the final seventh bowl judgment that will consummate the end of Tribulation Period judgments (Revelation 16:17-18). However, before John sees these final bowl judgments he is shown some events that occur at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period.

The Woman, The Dragon, The Heavenly War

In chapter 12 of Revelation, John sees a heavenly wonder in the form of a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown with twelve stars on it (Revelation 12:1-2). This vision is very similar to a dream that the Jewish patriarch Joseph had.

In that episode Joseph dreamed that he saw the sun and the moon and the eleven stars which did obeisance to him (Genesis 37:9). This was a prophetic dream that did come true. The sun was his father Jacob and the moon his mother Rachel. The eleven stars were his brothers who fathered the tribes of Israel. Joseph also was the father of the two of the twelve tribes of Israel through his two sons. Therefore, that dream represented the nation of Israel. Here John sees twelve stars, which would include Joseph. Accordingly, this vision was also a picture of the nation of Israel.

Then John sees a great red dragon that stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born. She gave birth to a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron and He was caught up to God (Revelation 12:4-5). This dragon is the devil and the male child is Jesus Christ who came from a Jewish mother of the nation of Israel. John writes:

"And the woman [i.e., Jews of Israel] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days." (Revelation 12:6)

The Jews will flee into the wilderness to a place where God protects them because of what happens next:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time." (Revelation 12:7-12)

During the mid-point of the Tribulation Period there is a war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels. Michael's forces prevail and they remove Satan from the heavenly realm forever. As the angel says though this is not good for those who dwell on earth because the Devil knows he has only a little time left before God judges him. Between the persecution of humanity by the Devil and the final judgments of God's wrath on them, this truly will be the time of Great Tribulation such as never was on earth nor ever will be again.

The Devil will possess the Antichrist and take his vengeance out on the rest of the world. This might be when the possessed Antichrist enters the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and declares himself God as the apostle Paul declared:

"3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

It will be at this moment that the Jewish nation as a whole will realize they have believed in the false Messiah. They will follow Jesus' warnings that He gave in chapter 24 of Matthew when they see the "abomination of desolation" [i.e., the possessed Antichrist] enter into the Temple:

"When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:15-22)

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the male child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:13-17)

The Jewish people who flee to God's protective place will be safe until Jesus Christ returns at His second coming. Some think that their destination will be the ancient rock fortress of Petra in Jordan (biblical Edom). This belief is based on a couple of references in the Book of Isaiah that associate the Jews in hiding with a place called Sela, which is also known as Petra. In any event those who remain outside of God's protection will suffer the most horrifying time the earth has ever seen. The Antichrist tries to overcome them with a flood (of armies?) and fails. He then vents his wrath on those who are not protected by God. This will ultimately lead to the battle of Armageddon.

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